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Farm League Rules

February 22, 2013

Farm League Rules

Revised: February 22, 2013

I.                   League Rules

A.                 LIABILITY:  The Home field organization will not be responsible for any injury to players.  Cars are to park at their own risk and the home field is not responsible for any damage to personal property.

B.                 WARM-UPS:  The home team will have the field for warm-ups thirty minutes before game time.  The visiting team will then have fifteen minutes before game time.  Games must be started on time.  If the previous game extends into the time slot of the following game, each team will be permitted five minutes of warm-ups and the game must begin.

C.                 DEFENSIVE LINEUP:   A maximum of ten players will play in the field:  Pitcher, Catcher, 4 infielders, and 4 outfielders.  A team may play with as few as eight players.  Less than eight players will constitute a forfeit.  There will be a fifteen minute grace period, if a team is waiting for a ninth player, from the scheduled game time.  There will be free substitutions. The outfielders MUST play 20’ back from the baselines on infield.  No Rover. A chalk line can be used if necessary.

D.                OFFICIAL GAME:  A regulation game is six innings.  A 10 run rule shall be in effect after four complete innings.  The home team does not need to bat in the 4th inning if they are ahead by 10 runs or more.  In case of rain or lightning and the game is officially called by the home plate umpire, the game must be replayed from the beginning unless four complete innings have taken place and/or it is an official game. 

E.                 SPORTSMANSHIP:  No smoking, abusive behavior, abusive language, or profanity is to take place on the field or in the dugout area by any player or coach.  Throwing of equipment of any kind will not be tolerated.  The umpires have the power to eject any player, coach, or fan who violate this policy, AFTER a warning.  If a player or coach is ejected from a game, the player or coach will be suspended for the next game.  The player or coach is not allowed to be in the dugout or on the field of play.  However they may watch from the bleachers.

F.                  FIELD PREP:   The home team will be responsible for lining the field before a game, and the last home team of the night will be responsible for closing the field (Including the concession stand).

G.                 OFFICIAL SCORE:  The home team will be responsible for the official score book.  The scorekeeper must check with the visiting scorekeeper at least once an inning for score.  The home team scorekeeper will be responsible for keeping track of the score and pitchers (Names and number of innings) Managers must sign off on each other’s book verifying the pitchers of record.

H.                UMPIRES:  Home team is in charge of each Farm League game.  Home team umpire has final say on any disputed call and ejections.  Balls and trikes are called for opposing team

I.                   OUT OF PLAY:  If a batted ball bounces over the fence in fair territory, two bases are awarded.  If a thrown ball goes out of play, one base is awarded.  One base refers to the base in which the runner was going at the time of the throw.  If the player had the base made, the player may be awarded the next base at the umpire’s discretion.

J.                   IN PLAY:  Time will be called by the umpires if a runner at a base requests time and the play is dead.  If a base pops loose the runner is to stay at the spot where the base was, unless he/she chooses to advance to the next base.  There is no automatic time just because a base comes loose.  Time cannot be called by any coach or fielder while play is going on.  When the players pitch, the ball must be under control of the pitcher inside the pitchers circle (radius of circle is 8’ or a 16’ diameter).  When the coaches pitch, innings 3-6, the kids still must throw the ball to KID in the pitchers circle, the kid pitcher once with control , play stops and ball goes to Coach in circle. The baserunner at the time of play stoppage advances or returns to base determined by the half way line.

K.                RULES COMMITTEE:  A rules committee will be created by a representative from each league. 

L.                  PROTESTS:  Any protests must be made in writing within 48 hours of the end of the game to the rules committee

M.               OTHER RULES:  Little League rules will apply except where noted herein.


II.               BATTING

A.                 OFFENSIVE LINEUP:  Each team will have a continuous batting order.  All players on the bench must bat.  Maximum 10 batters per inning except for the last inning the 3 outs are needed.

B.                 COURTESY RUNNER:  A courtesy runner will be allowed for the catcher on base with two outs.  Also, if a player is injured during his last at-bat or while on base a courtesy runner will be permitted.  The last out must be the courtesy runner.

C.                 BATTERS:  A batter who throws the bat will be warned by the umpire for the first violation.  Each subsequent violation by that player will result in that player being called out.  There is no bunting and no infield fly rule.

D.                BUNTING:  There is no bunting in Farm League. For a ball to be fair, it must pass a 3 ft. line from the back of home plate.

E.                 1st BASE OVERTHROW:  A player at his/her own risk may advance on base on an overthrow.  A runner may only advance one base if no play is being made on him/her. A maximum of 2 overthrows will be allowed then runner will be stopped at 3rd base. Throws back to the pitcher are not considered chasing the runner

F.                  SLIDE RULE:  There is a mandatory avoid contact rule.  To avoid controversy each manager should instruct his/her players to slide if a play is being made.  This rule applies to all bases.  No head first slides are permitted going to a base.  You can, however, slide headfirst back to a base. NO feet first sliding into first base. (it is not an out, it is a coaches teaching moment)

G.                 DUGOUTS:  Only players, coaches, and a batboy/batgirl are permitted in the dugout area.  Only one batter shall be in the on deck area.  No swinging the bats outside of the on deck area.  All other players are to remain in the dugout.



H.                COACHING:  The pitching coach on mound is allowed to instruct the batter. Once the ball is hit the coach is not permitted to instruct the runner, the base coaches take over at that point. Base Coaches must stay within the coach’s box. The Outfield coaches are allowed in FOUL territory along the baselines, but are not permitted to be in the field with players.

I.                   RUNNERS:  There is no leading.  A player who is off base on the pitch will be warned by the umpires.  A runner may leave the base once the pitch crosses the plate.  If the runner left early in an attempt to steal, the runner will be sent back if they were safe.  If they were called out on the attempted steal, they are out.  If the runner left early and the ball was hit fair, the runner cannot advance beyond the number of bases they were ahead of the batter.  Base coaches may not physically assist or restrain base runners while the ball is in play.  Such interference will result in that runner being called out, no warning.   A runner must score on a batted ball.  There is no stealing home.  If the runner leaves third base after a pitched ball, the defense may make a play on the runner but the runner cannot score.

III.            PITCHING

A.                 Any player on the roster may pitch

B.                 Any player on the pitcher’s mound must wear a heart guard.

C.                 A player may not pitch in more than one game in a day.

D.                If a pitcher hits 2 consecutive batters in an inning, or hits 3 total batters, they must be removed.

E.                 Players will pitch the first two innings.  A Player can pitch two innings every other game.  The strike zone will be in between the white batter’s box lines and from the chin to shins.

F.                  At the 3rd inning, when the coaches pitch, each batter will get three strikes, or seven pitches, whichever comes first.  If a player fouls off the seventh pitch, or any pitches thereafter, that player will continue to bat until he/she puts the ball in play, strikes out, or is called out on pitches.  There are no walks or hit batsmen.  If a batted ball strikes the coach-pitcher, the ball is ruled dead and ruled “no play”, it’s a do-over and the batted ball will not be included in the pitch count.

G.                 Pitching distance is 46’ from rubber to home plate. Distance can be modified for pitchers having trouble at that distance, but can be no closer to home plate than 42’(which is still inside the pitchers circle)